Building Barakah… Out of Legos

12-Year-Old Aims to Raise $100K for Orphans by Building Lego Ka’ba

By Rubina Ali

Big dreams with big goals

Zakaria, or Zak for short, is only 12 years old but he’s found a way to use his passion for building Legos as a way to give back. The young humanitarian from Tampa, Florida, is building the world’s biggest Lego model of the Kaaba, the holy site for Muslims, and using his platform to fundraise for orphans worldwide through Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA).

Launched Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Zak’s goal is to raise $100,000 to help 1,000 orphans, and he will release videos regularly on his YouTube channel showing progress as he builds.

The global Islamic Relief community sponsors more than 70,000 orphans worldwide, and IRUSA donors specifically sponsor over 25,000 of those orphans. Full annual sponsorship costs between $43 and $65 a month and helps cover essential needs like food, clothing, healthcare, and education. Of course, every country is different, and, sometimes, programs for orphans are customized to meet particular conditions.

Proud is an understatement

IRUSA spoke to Zak’s father, Naeem, about Zak’s inspiration for the project. “Zak is nuts about Legos,” Naeem shared, “and we’ve been a part of Islamic Relief for years and years. His Eidy, birthday money…a portion of that always goes to the charity.”

Zak’s parents could not be more supportive and have stood by Zak every step of the way, from content creation to video production for Zak’s YouTube channel. Naeem hopes that Zak’s fundraiser inspires other young people to find ways to give back and said Zak is following a family tradition. “We’ve been involved with Islamic Relief for 20 years and we’re honored to continue that.”  

Bringing hearts along

The project has been a community effort and the people who have contributed come from all religious backgrounds. The base and the frame for the Kaaba was built by Zak’s neighbor, Mr. Tom, and neighborhood children helped with the actual Lego building. In his YouTube videos, you’ll meet some of the people that have helped Zak along the way.  

Your family can join Zak as he constructs the world’s largest Lego Kaaba by following along on his YouTube channel. You can also support Zak with your donation. With every brick you donate, your family will support orphans around the world through IRUSA. Based on the level of donation, exclusive thank-you gifts, ranging from a certificate of merit to mini Kaaba Lego sets, will be offered to donors.Learn more and support Zak’s goal today by donating at irusa.org/gozakgo.

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